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Social Innovation, M.A.

The Professional Master of Arts in Social Innovation (PMASI) is designed to prepare individuals to foster and lead innovation throughout their organizations, businesses, and communities in ways that impact daily operations and strategic goals.

The program trains students to critically examine and address complex social problems such as childhood hunger, illiteracy, domestic violence, air pollution, food deserts, contaminated drinking water, poverty, and homelessness.

Visit the program website for more information.

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Program Overview

The PMASI program consists of 36 credit hours of coursework. There are no prerequisites and students with any bachelor's degree may be accepted. Courses will be offered as hybrid, meeting both in class and online. In-person courses will meet at the Robert C. Pew Campus in downtown Grand Rapids. The program features courses in social innovation, public administration, social work, and management.

  • Six core courses in social innovation and public administration: 18 credits
  • Three application courses for project: 9 credits
  • Three courses of synthesis coursework: 9 credits

Why Study Social Innovation at Grand Valley?

  • In-demand. Sustainability consultants make a median salary of $60,926 in the United States according to
  • Desired skills. Nationally, employers post jobs for masters level social innovation skills such as leadership, teamwork, communication (written and verbal), problem solving, and analytical/qualitative skills. Local and regional organizations include social innovation as desired skills in job descriptions.
  • Flexible. Courses are hybrid, offered in a combination of face to face and online.
  • Unique. This program is the only professional social innovation program in Michigan offering a focus on critical, humanistic, integrative, and interdisciplinary approaches to social issues.

Helpful Links

For More Information

Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Studies Department
324 Lake Ontario Hall, (616) 331-8020

Graduate Admissions Office

Application Deadline

Deadline for fall semester is June 1; winter is November 1; and spring/summer is April 1. The $30 nonrefundable application fee is waived if the applicant has previously applied to Grand Valley State University. Please visit

Location & Format

Classes for the program are a combination of online and in-seat at Grand Valleys Allendale Campus and the Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

Format: Hybrid


Topics covered:

  • Cross-sector innovation
  • Corporate Social Responsibilities
  • Civic action
  • Community engagement strategies
  • Environmental justice
  • Policy development skills

Students also have the option to combine internships, global learning experiences, study abroad, collaborative assignments and projects, problem-based learning, and blending of traditional disciplines, resulting in a unique degree experience.

Career Options

Graduates can expect to be employed in the following industries:

  • Education
  • Government
  • Health and human services
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Sustainable energy
  • Urban planning